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There is increasing requests for noncontrollable distribution generation (DG) interconnections in the medium and low voltage networks. Many studies have suggested that with proper system planning, DG could provide benefits such as reliability enhancement, investment deferment, and reduced losses. However, without network reinforcements, the allowable interconnection capacity in a network is often restricted due to fault current level, voltage variation, and power flow constraints. This paper aims to address the issue of optimizing network operation and use for accommodating DG integrations. A new DG interconnection planning study framework that includes a coordinated feeder reconfiguration and voltage control to calculate the maximum allowable DG capacity at a given node in the distribution network is presented. A binary particle swarm optimization (BPSO) technique is employed to solve the discrete nonlinear optimization problem and possible uncertainties associated with volatile renewable DG resource and loads are incorporated through a stochastic simulation approach. Comprehensive case studies are conducted to illustrate the applicability of the proposed method. Numerical examples suggest that the method and procedure used in the current DG interconnection impact study should be modified in order to optimize the existing grid operation and usage to facilitate customer participation in system operation and planning.
Date of Publication: March 2011